As San Diegans try to digest why an ambitious effort to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the 1915 party that transformed San Diego and Balboa Park fell apart, it helps to think of it the way a key player saw it — as a startup.
The city of San Diego partnered with hotel owners to try to turn $2 million into $30 million. They wanted to draw millions of visitors to San Diego for an event of worldwide reach that would have transformed the region.
Unlike most startups, however, this one didn’t actually begin with a product or an idea. All it had was a goal: Raise a lot of money to do something gigantic.
As the organization scrambled to meet expectations, management turnover disrupted it, political leaders mismanaged it, costly vendors failed to deliver and now little time remains to put on an event of lasting significance.
We wanted to understand what happened. Here’s what we found.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Jerry Sanders, while enjoying one of the largest pension in San Diego history, finds yet another way to arrange for his buddies to be paid large sums of money for doing nothing. Empty suit Todd Gloria finds yet another way to star in a self promotional video at taxpayers expense.
Third District Councilman Todd Gloria should have led the Balboa Park Celebration effort. It is in his district, but he is so busy hyping himself that he has little time for doing the work of his current office other than creating lame excuses for his official failures.
Ultimately, the fault lies in us, the electorate. We continue to vote for candidates that concentrate their efforts on adding to the wealth of their friends, and enhancing their prospects for higher office regardless of the negative impacts on the citizens of San Diego.
The key to this whole fiasco is the former and grossly incompetent mayor Sanders. Beginning with his pushing for his historically destructive plans for the Western entrance into the park and his lack of oversite on the plans for the celebration. It is amazing how as a police officer in charge his handling of the McDonalds massacure resulting in unnecessary additional deaths all the way through the court overturning of his balboa Park MOU and his wrongful firing of staff member Kessler costing taxpayers close to one million dollars that he ends up CEO of the downtown camber of commerce.
What Scott and Andrew fail to mention is that prior to BPCI'S formation I submitted an unsolicited framework and theme for 2015 entitled "San Diego 2015: Celebrating a Century of Creativity" that included "Balboa Park 2015." I filed the Fictitious Business Names and Business License Fees to do business under these names.
Voice of San Diego, the Tourism Marketing District, and everyone else that I discussed the Framework with told me they were only supporting the non-profit set up by the City as the Official Organization. All of my attempts to discuss my framework with the Clays as Board Chairs were ignored, up to and including the day that plans for dissolution were announced.
Even now my ideas for Celebrating a Century of Creativity are being flatly rebuffed by Mayor Faulconer and Council President Gloria.
As long as they remain in charge of the City's efforts, those efforts are doomed to failure.
How come Balboa Park isn't joining with the San Diego Zoo's 2016 Centennial to make IT the big party? Isn't the San Diego Zoo really the main draw to the Park and even the City? Time we all shifted to a truly positive institution in the City and give it the credit long deserved.
@Vicky Heithaus I ha a bit concerned by your characterization of the very private Zoo Global as a "truly positive institution". Zoo Global is just as flawed as other animal entertainment organizations, perhaps more so because they have burdened the taxpayers with reduced rent, unreimbursed city services, and most importantly a tax on each and ever resident and property in the City. The private Zoo Global was not able to specifically account for $10s of millions of tax payer dollars. Recently the USDA has cited this private organization for the way it houses and handles animals. Sure lots of people like to come to the permanent circus in our park, that does not make it positive or good.
The Zoo does not play well with others. The Employees and Volunteers working on the recent STEAM Day (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) in Balboa Park had no clue that this was taking place, including Rodney the Giraffe at the Air & Space Museum.
There were no signs or other visual links to the institutions in Balboa Park, and they are not Members of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership.
At the same time, The City (aka Faulconer & Gloria) jammed all STEAM activities into the East Prado, leaving the West Prado and Plaza de Panama empty.
A Comedy of Errors continues.
The degree to which hotel interests dominate policy and finances in this city continues continues to baffle me.
The videos of our clueless politicians reminds me of the Steely Dan lyric, "show business kids making movies of themselves - they don't give a damn about anybody else".
By the way, any centennial celebration should honor and educate the public about all the San Diegan's who have been defending the park over the last 100 years, including George Marston, Bea Evanston, Esther Scott, Citizen's Coordinate for Century 3 and the Committee of 100. Teach youngsters about those stalwarts and hope they will choose to take up the torch and defend Balboa Park for another 100 years.
@Don Wood Very good suggestion. If we are going to conserve and preserve our civic jewel we must train and empower the next generation of park stewards. Thank you for the suggestion
Gee - why not include them in a Living History Exhibit where they wander Balboa Park AND the City extolling the value of Balboa Park?
Great piece. Took 68 pages to print out, but worth every page. Now we need a follow on article detailing exactly who got paid by the committee, what their relationship was with Jerry Sanders, and what got done, if anything for the money paid. And please include quotes from those who have been blowing the whistle on this charade from the beginning.
From the UT March 27, 2014: “A San Diego City Council committee on Wednesday ordered an audit of all public funds spent by Balboa Park Celebration Inc., the nonprofit that spent millions of dollars on unrealized plans for a centennial party before voting to go out of business earlier this month … No board members of the organization attended the committee meeting.”
Really? You expect anything different?
The fox has been in the hen house and you now forensically try to figure out who ate the chickens and the eggs?
How do you tell when a politician is lying (especially it would seem in San Diego?)
I am glad the possibility of Balboa Park being sold-out to advertisers was shot down quickly and decisively. I ride my bike through that area all the time and it really is a beautiful place. Great architecture, pristine landscaping, and best off all, no billboards or other advertising crap. To have to endure signs such as "The Museum Of Man: Brought To You By Brawndo" would have been just so, so depressing. I'm glad someone took a stand to make sure Balboa Park didn't turn into "The Sleeptrain Mattress Center Park Near Downtown With Museums And Stuff." The entire fiasco is kind of a sad state of reality. It just shows how dependent citizens are on corporations now. THEY ARE OUR ONLY HOPE LEFT TO THROW A PARTY!!! PLEASE "LIKE" OUR YEARLONG PARTY IDEA BIG CORPORATIONS!!! I think there might be one person left in San Diego that thinks we can throw a big party without the help of a big corporation. It's not me of course, even when I host as few as five people I insist on a pool filled with live Maine lobsters (BROUGHT TO YOU BY BOUNTY: THE QUICKER PICKER UPPER!) But somewhere out there a person probably does exist that could pull off a good year-long celebration for between two and 2.5 million dollars without the help of corporate sponsors. I must admit though, it will be tough. That inflatable trampoline situated over the mystery river will probably suck up at least $700,000 of that budget. ($150,000 to rent the contraption for the day. $550,000 to pay for all the broken necks. There was one person in that artist rendering that must have been 60 ft up in the air!)
At least Filner got rid of that cringe-inducing "Edge 2015" branding. The centennial celebration does not need to look to the future - it should celebrate the San Diego business people, politicians and philanthropists who had the foresight to create Balboa Park. To honor them, we could start by repairing the crumbling park infrastructure instead of wasting money on fireworks and light shows.
Speaking from experience, many park organizational admin staff were wary of the Centennial Party concept from the beginning, as initially there were signals coming from the TMD and organizers that they wanted a say in the internal programming of individual institutions during the year the event was to take place.
That stated, it's sad that the organizers and city staff don't really recognize the park for what it is: a collection of important cultural institutions housed in historic buildings surrounded by a beautiful and exotic landscape. Why does it have to be anything else?
It's not a concert hall or sports area, empty and dark until the next show comes to town. It's a vibrant, living place that is worthy of celebration *every* day.
Why does everything always have to involve a fireworks display, light show, and "spectacular entertainment?"
You could stage a Zeppelin reunion on the organ pavilion and a million fans would show up, but only for one day and for the wrong reason at that.
There could have been any easy solution for this: a one week, free pass to all park institutions and attractions for the entire year.
Advertisement copy would have read: "San Diego's Balboa Park Centennial Anniversary - Be Our Guest!"
Visitors would have gotten a special "Explorer Pass" free of charge.
People would have discovered the place, enjoyed themselves, and made plans to return someday.
I'd wager that park institutions, city staff, hoteliers, and corporate sponsors would have found a way to make it work for everyone.
The $2.5M spent on nothing would have been a good start.
As an aside, am I the only one who finds it ironic and slightly amusing that the media company who makes videos for the "Golden Fleece Awards" itself part of this year's Grand Fleece?
After reading this article, three things come to mind:
(1) We have no business calling ourselves "America's Finest City." It is beyond time to retire that silly and inaccurate moniker. San Diego has clearly lost its ability to think big or to do anything grand. Sad, sad, sad.
(2) I love Balboa Park and, despite the BPIC mess, I continue to believe the Park should be celebrated in 2015. I will repeat something Bill Bradshaw wrote in an earlier response to this article: "Wouldn’t we be better making this a San Diego celebration, aimed at the locals but available to anyone who wants to attend?"
Absolutely! Assuming there are monies left over from the BPIC, why not let a professional event organizer (think the folks who put on StreetScene, the Rock-and-Roll marathon, and helped with the Super Bowl in the early 2000s) come up with a weekend-long plan to help locals and folks from beyond come and enjoy and celebrate the Park. Theme ideas for such an event could be submitted by the the public, as it is a public park. Start small and think big!
(3) A big thank you, Andrew and Scott, for this well-researched and written article. I had no idea of all the drama surrounding this event. Thank you for shining a light on what has been, thus far, anyhow, another sad chapter in this city's history.
I felt this celebration was not for the people of San Diego. Instead, they were more likely to suffer from it (traffic, crowds at the park, cost) while those in the tourist industry would benefit (IF anyone did). I suspect the people would be happy with a small event and that they would prefer that money go to maintaining park infrastructure. Honor the park by taking care of it. But this city is always about lining the pockets of the connected while ignoring infrastructure needs.
@Janet Shelton Janet you are so right the politicians are either from another planet or belong to the corporations and unions that financed their elections. It is obscene that the City Council gives 10s of millions in tax dollars to Balboa Park organizations and so little to keep up the park. Many of the institutions and theatres in the Park are making millions in profit but they still get big money from their buddies on the Council and Art Commission
Millions in profit John Stump? Which institutions and theaters would those be? Who are the beneficiaries of the slush fund and how do you know about this? I was always under the impression that the institutions within the Park struggle to survive and rely to a large degree on volunteer labor.
@Linda Tegarden @john stump@Janet Shelton Thank you for the fact checking. I once believed as you until I started picking up the park rocks and looking under them and behind the curtains. The profit and loss statements of all the nonprofits are public record - you can ask them for their public audit or go to GUIDESTAR . For example here are the links to the 2 recent tax returns for the Old Globe twin fundshttp://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2012/336/125/2012-336125358-098e065a-9.pdf% http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2012/951/543/2012-951543396-09cb4af0-9.pdf or our hometown park Zoo (now Zoo Global) http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2012/951/648/2012-951648219-09b3b2ac-9.pdf. These are sophisticated multimillion dollar corporations so take care in reading these returns. Also keep in mind that unlike other tourism venues like Sea World, PetCo and Qualcom these revenues are not reimbursing the City for costs through rent and other charges. The other significant subsidies involve free water and cash. The City budget provides $10+ million to the Zoo and 100's of thousands to the others See pages http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2012/951/648/2012-951648219-09b3b2ac-9.pdf and http://www.sandiego.gov/fm/annual/pdf/fy14/vol2/v2specialpromo.pdf. Some institutions are doing better than others which reflects that special combination of audience appeal, good management, and luck. Thanks for asking. I am active in support of several Park groups and want to return the Park to its City serving and governed mission or simply stated Balboa Park FUBU. Unfortunately, I think few Park tenants are governed by City residents or employ a City workforce. I am still seeking information on the profitability of the private for profit commercial tenants??
Anything that requires "corporate sponsorships" and "angel investors" is going nowhere. I remember the State Sesquicentennial in 2000 you don't? Why am I not surprised?
@Howard Ahmanson Like the new library, Petco park, SDSU's new student center, and the rock 'n' roll marathons, complete failures. (100's more on that list)
There is nothing wrong with Corporate Sponsorships, only with how THE CITY (Sanders, Faulconer, Gloria, et al) gets them and uses them. I firmly believe that I could get major International Sponsors for events in the San Diego Region - and will be acting on that Belief toward setting up San Diego Regional Events that DO NOT INVOLVE the parties that think of Balboa Park as their own Private Sandbox.
The First Event will be The 1915 San Diego Exposition Road Race Centennial Event, taking place 100 Years + 1 Day after the 300 mile Race on the First Licensed Race Course in The Southwest.
That Race had 50,000 Paid Spectators in a City of 40,000 residents.
Will Bill Evans (who brags that he owns two cars from that 1915 Race) support an Event that Celebrates the Centennial of that Race and the Century of Creativity in Transportation since it took place?
Only Time will tell....
How bout the part where the celebration was never intended to happen? how dumb are we. Look at this group...Nikki Clay and Ben Clay. Ben is a 25 year SUPER lobbyist who deals in complex development issues like how do you dismantle a 100 year old park.
From a SD city memo:
'Mr. Ben Clay is a Partner & Founder of Carpi & Clay, a government relations firm with
offices in San Diego, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C. The firm provides strategic
counsel, designs government relations programs, develops legislative strategies to advance public policy and business development, and represents clients at the local, state and federal levels.
Throughout Mr. Clay's experience in government relations and
intergovernmental affairs, he has provided legislative and strategic counsel on issues and topics including transportation and infrastructure, natural resources, environmental
regulation, public finance, housing and community development, safety and security, and
international trade and commerce.
Since 1984, Mr. Clay has been a state and federal lobbyist and has represented clients including the City of Coronado, County of San Diego, Port of San Diego, Scripps Health and San Diego County Water Authority. Originally, Mr. Clay founded the Clay Company in 1984, then began Carpi & Clay with Mr. Ken Carpi in 1986. Prior to establishing Carpi. & Clay, Mr. Clay worked for the City of San Diego as an Assistant to the City Manager from 1972-1973. He later represented and lobbied on behalf of the City in Sacramento from 1973-1976. From 1976-1983, Mr. Clay was the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the County of San Diego and represented the County as their Chief Lobbyist in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Your well written article states:“…[T]he celebration would bring in millions of out-of-town visitors.” “Ten million people visited Balboa Park in 2010. The park could double that number in 2015 with a great centennial, according to the steering committee, and as many as 75 percent of those 10 million additional attendees could come from out of town.” ARE OUR LEADERS OUT OF THEIR MINDS??
Our city can barely fill pot hole, provide basic services to our 1.5 million residents.The City has too little park and recreation services, libraries have reduced hours and it is losing Police and Fire personnel.East Village has 100’s of homeless encamped at 16th and Market and the Council had to search the couch cushions to extend some shelter beds.Yet they have been planning a”… celebration would bring in millions of out-of-town visitors.” They want to add another 10 million people to Balboa Park.Perhaps they are planning to put up admission gates and ticket booths for picnic and strolling space.
We are in a drought and the Council has raised the sewer and water fees to meet demand but they want to “... bring in millions of out-of-town visitors.” Neither, our City or the County have developed the required Climate Action plans to address our existing deteriorating environment and globalwarming, but they want to “… bring in millions of out-of-town visitors.”Have they figured out the traffic impacts? Have they studied where the water is coming from and the sewage for more than 10 million out of town visitors is going to go?Do they think that these new 10 million out of town visitors, in addition to the existing base line tourism and convention business , including Comic Con, are coming in on magic carpets, instead of fossil fuels?
The quality of life for the rest of us during this for profit Satyricon is not going to improve.Hoteliers and developers are going to party all the way to the bank.The wealthy will attend a few private party events and then leave town for the waves of tourists . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8cebyi-s1k I think it is time we re-evaluate Tourism as the backbone of our economic base.Alternately, we can follow our leaders go in all the way and over the sustainable cliff.
If we go all the way, let’s get City Schools and the Community Colleges to dump that new core curriculum and STEM.Job readiness training for careers as Maids, Bartenders, and service personnel should be initiated. Perhaps phase two is to recognize downtowns native American heritage and open a couple of Casinos. Is our economic vision to become Las Vegas by the Sea? http://youtu.be/ucubLr3ZLbw
Great reporting, it helps to understand how the whole thing unraveled, which is all just sad.
In late 2012, I helped set up a visit for Mayor Sanders to a tech incubator to meet with a group of entrepreneurs who wanted to share how startups could help transform and modernize city facilities. Sanders asked me to get in touch with the Balboa Park Centennial committee to discuss how startups could be a part of the 2015 celebration... you can see a photo of our meeting here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/243616661063515463/
I called the committee contact, twice, but never heard back.
A few months later, the 24-yr old founder sitting across from the Mayor in the photo, a SDSU grad, deployed his solution at the PGA Tour in Torrey Pines (I remember him almost getting kicked out of the press tent as I set up the TV interview on the link below because the Tour media director thought these two kids were hacking into his system, and I had to explain the 'kids' WERE his system): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_4xukHTPSc
I don't think there was one member on the Centennial board under age 35 and that is a problem! Let our brilliant kids take over-- look at how ComicCon took off!!
The PGA Tour / Locbit video is a perfect example of how our incredible San Diego startups could team up with existing events and programs at Balboa Park to show the world the future. Imagine an existing festival at the park transformed by 3D Robotics drones, a 5k run boosted by RockMyRun, a park scavenger hunt expanded with use of sensors and mobile phone engagement, etc....
The long-standing organizations and events would benefit by having the startup take them to the next level of efficiency, engagement and creativity; the startups would benefit by having terrific case studies to help them grow / create jobs; and the world would be invited to participate in traditional events and exhibits at the park transformed by the best that our local innovation sector can offer.
Your analogy to startups wasn't a stretch.... lets do something with this!
Thank you for this interesting article about what those millions of
dollars were spent on before the 2015 Centennial Celebration Organization
came apart. As someone who has taken part in the planning of major
events, it seems that people with little event
planning experience were put in charge, with plenty of money available
be spent, but little clarity in what this grand event was to be about! That
does not do justice to an event that was expected to double tourism to
San Diego from all over the world for 2015, nor is it the type of
quality organization that would attract major sponsors and/or well heeled
individual investors! It seems high time to put some experienced event planners in charge, stop thinking that this needs to be a world wide extravaganza and scale it down to a Centennial Celebration that San Diegans would be pleased to take part in.
What's wrong with sheet cake? A really, really big sheet cake. I love cake. Are you telling me San Diegans don't like cake?
Reports like this gem are the reason why I'm a Voice member. Bravo, Scott and Andrew. It read like a marvelous piece of fiction. I only wish this civic train wreck really was a piece of fiction.
"The Politicians went to the Opera, Symphony, and Old Globe with valet parking and listened to the violin while Balboa Park continued to deteriorate and the Public ate Costco sheet cake in Celebration of the 1915 San Diego Exposition."
Great headline, if a bit long.
Interesting analysis, but question at this point is “Where do we go from here?” To me, the premise on which this grand celebration was based is very shaky, that a centennial celebration of a park in the 8th largest city in America is going to attract millions of visitors from all over the world, thus providing a bonanza of new tourist dollars for a city that is already a major tourism destination.
It’s interesting that they used an analogy with the Holiday Bowl and projected 10 to 15 times the hotel room usage. But the Holiday Bowl has one unique thing going for it; both teams are from out of town and their fans like to visit San Diego in winter.
I’m not knocking Balboa Park. It’s a beautiful, wonderful place to picnic, stroll, see a play or visit a museum or two. But let’s face it, it has one world class attraction, perhaps the best zoo in the world. The other venues are interesting but hardly spectacular, and who from out of town gives a hoot about the fact that the place is 100 years old in 2015?
Wouldn’t we be better making this a San Diego celebration, aimed at the locals but available to anyone who wants to attend. Instead of year long, how about scaling it back to 3-4 months and featuring each major exhibit for a week or so? Let each institution put on what it thinks will show it to best advantage, and focus on helping residents of San Diego County learn about our great asset so that they’ll use it more often?
@Bill BradshawJust posted a "what now", Bill: http://voiceofsandiego.org/2014/03/26/what-now-theres-still-money-for-a-balboa-park-2015-bash-but-little-time/
"Wouldn’t we be better making this a San Diego celebration, aimed at the locals but available to anyone who wants to attend."
Amen to that, Mr. Bradshaw. This was but one of many thoughts that ran through my mind as I read this article.
San Diegans in 1915 put on a world's fair. San Diegans in 2014 can't figure out how to stage a party remembering a world's fair. San Diegans in 1965 organized an opera company. San Diegans in 2014 can't keep the opera company afloat. Is there a trend here?
Mr. Evans' comment has the ring of truth. But pretty self-serving and self-satisfied too. Coming from someone who provided the swing vote on the (bad) convention center deal he'd opposed in exchange for a favorable expedited lease agreement, we could do without the posturing.
Small aside: for scale, note that the TMD budget is $26M+/yr.
Where are the lessons learned?
Boosterism gone bad? The tourism biz is a bitch? Is was a bad idea to begin with? Don't hire suits to produce events? All of the above, and more.
At today's Council Committee on the Environment, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith questioned the "model" of trusting a non-profit dependent on volunteers to pursue such a large event.
But let us not indict volunteerism for a set of individuals' failures - whether volunteers or not. And BPCI are to be applauded for giving up while there's still a little time and a little money to make something happen by those who do have event experience.
City Attorney Goldsmith also questioned the levels of oversight provided naming the three City areas BPCI was to report to: City Office of Special Events, City Office of Economic Development and the Council Committee on the Environment. I questioned who ever saw the required quarterly reports? I filed a Public Records Act request to see them and while the Office of Special Events responded quickly, I never heard a peep from the Office of Economic Development. A key mechanism evidently set up for "oversight" to receive financial reports appears to have thought the reports were confidential - if they even ever received them. I never did find out.
But what if they had received them? It would have revealed what was already obvious to community members interested in helping - that they were failing to put any real there, there, while spending a lot of cash. I met with Mark Germyn - no one would have considered him to be an entreprenuer - seriously. I saw each iteration of PR slides put out by each team. Nothing was ever grounded in the reality of what it take to actually produce something and attract sponsors.
It's too easy with 20/20 hindsight over a failure to claim it couldn't be done.
Their good intentions to be a multi-million dollar extravaganza for a public park noone outside the City really cares about - they were always too grandiose. Just take one reality check from the get-go. Someone at some point claimed that Balboa Park attracts 10 million visitors per year. Let's do the math. That's about 27,000 visitors per day, every day. My one-day event, the EarthFair is said to attract 60,000 in one day - which is pretty much the max you can fit into the park. But the only equivalent attendance event to Earth Day is December Nights. So if you take the special event attendance, including the run/walk events that happen off the top 0f the 10 million figure, it still conservatively leaves way more than 25,000 needing to attend each and every other day and that just doesn't happen even on most peak weekends, much less every day thoughout the year. My point is - we we're starting with a culture that exagerated from the outset. It all went downhill from there.
Details matter. They especially matter with events. Ideas can be thrilling. But any vision without the right implementation, will never be realized.
The Mayor's representative at the hearing today reported they are working with Council President Gloria's Office and were hoping for a smooth transition and being able to move forward with a local focus for observing the Centennial.
The Park does not need one day events that overwhelm it on a continuous basis.
It needs programming that is not dependent on single day events.
I proposed that three years+ ago - and no one wants to hear it or read about it - still.
i think Mr. Evans is his own way described it very well. Bottom line is if they would have chosen a event planner or experienced person in putting together events of this type the project would probably have gotten off on the right foot. With positive momentum. And a project like this needed positive momentum from the start! that fuels the fundraising and everything that follows. Why put these politicos to oversee and run the event? they are the LAST type of people you want involved in this type of project.
Mr. Lewis: Thank you for this apparently very thorough piece. Very illuminating. I find myself in agreement with Mr. Evans. If you need a plumber, don't call an electrician. Failure is a possibility in any enterprise, but the vacuum of accountability in this case is enormously troubling.
@Chris Brewster I hate to say it, but it is hard not to see the lack of accountability to be one of the big problems when gov't functions are privatized.
The problem goes back to the Sanders administration. In an apparent swap by Sanders to give Qualcomm a below cost advertisement touting their "Snapdragon" Sanders got Jacobs to support Sanders payback to his developer supporters of his election. That payback was comprised of a proposed historically destructive and unfunded maintenance of a bypass bridge and a parking garage that the IBA pointed out was ill conceived financially regarding the revenue to pay for the proposed bond issuance.
Finally the marketing of the project was badly flawed in that they really didn't examine what made the 1915 celebration so successful. The committee was attempting to get sponsors with no real blueprints for the proposal.
Moving on ....get rid of Gerry Braun now and use his salary for someone who could bring much expertise to picking up the reins and moving ahead...someone like SOHO's CEO ...Bruce Coons.
Bruce has many followers who would make things happen without the on going proverbial milking of the city's cow.
Obviously you don't know Mr. Coons and his capabilities contrary to his predecessors he would not be after the milk. Typically you attack the concept with out offering a person or plan as an alternative.
@Jim Jones I work 2 jobs. The only punishment I endure, for some reason, is reading your mostly disconnected hyperbole-filled rants. Truth be told they're not "really" punishment. They're painfully hilarious. I like funny, and I like pain. Yeehaw! I want some of that connected rich money!
CLOSE UP OF MAN FIRING WESTERN GUNS INTO THE SKY
HELICOPTER PANS OUT TO SEE CORY ON A MOUNTAINTOP.
FADE TO BLACK
So there is absolutely nothing startup-like about this endeavor. It's not like organizations have never had to organize and raise money to put on a celebration. This was simply extremely poor management from many who should have known better.
Shame on the vendors -- community members, BTW -- who so richly profited from this boondoggle.
For a true startup event, one might keep tabs on (and participate in) sandiegostartupweek.com.
I liked San Diego the most, right up until the 70's, when it was still a sleepy little border town. Now it's all about making money. By the way, is there enough left over for a sheet cake?
@Jim Jones I don't think this blames Filner. Sanders' people set up a faulty house of cards that Filner seems to have helped blow down. As we try to explain, even if everything were to continue without Filner's disruption, it's not clear what it was or why it would work.
@Jim Jones @Scott Lewishe did all of that. Filner took over the contractor, basically ran off the CEO and a fundraiser, fought with the funder, TMD, and demanded a full rebranding. We reported out all those things, yes.
Are you saying we shouldn't have? They're a big part of the story.
As far as Sanders, I think the effort was doomed by its initial framework, however, and its unrealistic expectations and the managers and people he put in place. We discuss all this along with Evans' and Nielsen's and Granowitz's diagnosis, which are not about Filner.
Finally, this is an effort to explain what happened, as best we could. If you think something else happened we missed, I'd enjoy reading about it.
@Jim Jones @Scott Lewis I have to admit, it WAS especially difficult for us to hide our true intentions-- shielding Sanders from blame-- even while scrutinizing the fundamental flaws in the structure he approved, reporting an alternative plan he may have rejected, and itemizing the top-to-bottom connections between BPCI and his political circle. But, it appears we succeeded, because if we can fool the wise Jim Jones, well, then we can fool everyone.
@Jim Jones Ah, the limousine liberals. I forgot we were having this conversation in 1971.
@Jim Jones I commend you for being older than me. Great work.
@Jim Jones @Andrew KeattsI resent that remark. I'm a Mission Beach Subaru conservative who gives a generous contribution to help fund the most objective news source in town (other than the UT, of course).
Filner is being used as a fall guy for all the mismanagement of this project. In reality he achieved the major goal of removing parking from the plaza at a fraction of the cost of the Then Mayor Sanders plan.
Scott - read the Framework I proposed 3 years ago - it sits on my SanDiego2015.com site or look through your old emails.
I can still (yes, even now) pull off a Celebration that includes Balboa Park.
Maybe you will take the time to ask me how at some point...